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PurpleCanary

Sustaining the future

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[quote user="Jim Smith"]Of course I would expect them to do some basic due diligence to establish that the new owners are not fly by night cowboys and share the same aspirations for the club.

I could also accept reasonable conditions if they wished to impose them. What is not reasonable is either simply not listening to offers or imposing such conditions as effectively render any sale impossible.[/quote]
That''s already a step back from what you were saying Jimbo. Of course due diligence would take place. I don''t think we''d have to worry about that. But I asked if there was anything you wouldn''t want to lose about the club we have now. The answer I''m getting is there''s nothing a few million quid wouldn''t compensate for. Strange because you wouldn''t get any of that money. But each to their own and this is a good discussion with differing points of view.
Mine could be summed up by that old adage that you can buy a house but you can''t by a home. Of course you can buy into a home and help improve it.

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This is a great thread and conducted with good cordiality, one or two small exceptions apart. I was just thinking how good it would be to get everyone on the thread round a table to debate this stuff over a glass of finest.

Anyhow my takeaway from this so far is that with the second poorest owners in the Champs the consequences of one duff decision will be greater for us than others because there is no kitty to fall back on. It would suggest a cautious safety first approach is needed. The Farke experiment is far from that so will it be a Lambert like success or a Neil like failure? One will see us punching above our weight again for a bit, the other would leave us marooned for quite a while. The great thing about NCFC is that us lot will all still be here come what may.

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nutty nigel wrote: "So does anybody else have anything they''d not like to lose about our football club? or is it just me?"
I''d be sorry if Steve Morrison stopped saying "You''re too nice". I value our niceness, -- a nice club to support, a nice club to watch, a nice club to play for and a nice club for opponents and their fans to visit or have visit. That''s my NCFC and long may it continue to be so.

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Best thread in a long time which excellent points eloquently put from all angles - and reminds me what a privilege it is to support this club.

Overall the clubs finances do not overly concern me.

For my whole lifetime, bar 1 season, we have remained in the top 2 tiers, for the vast majority of that time a yo-yo team between those tiers. A yo-yo team irrespective of owner, finances, ambition or prudence.

I ask myself what do we want, what do we need and have they been confused. I want my club to succeed. but far more I need my ncfc fix.

I have never failed to be enthralled by even the worse season - my passion as fervent supporting in Europe, tier 1 to 3 through promotion, relegation & mid table mediocrity. The experience of league 1 fans was the best I have had. The 92-94 seasons remain the high.

I want to experience those highs again. That will only happen with a major increase in sustained funding combined with the right structure and personnel. You have to have all three. But I wont lose sleep or pleasure in supporting my club if it does not happen.

This is the best real life soap opera - engaging, infuriating yet always good.

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"if you can meet with triumph and disaster and treat those two imposters just the same..."

 

Well being honest, I fail that test.

 

Yes, I loved our season in L1, which was a mix of going to grounds I hadn''t been to before, winning a lot of the time, and enjoying the novelty of being the "big" team for a change, with other fans .  If we''d been stuck down there for years, it wouldn''t stop me following City, but I''m sure it would dampen my enthusiasm a bit.  Just talk to Sheff U fans (I know quite a few).

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[quote user="Its Character Forming"]

"if you can meet with triumph and disaster and treat those two imposters just the same..."

Well being honest, I fail that test.Yes, I loved our season in L1, which was a mix of going to grounds I hadn''t been to before, winning a lot of the time, and enjoying the novelty of being the "big" team for a change, with other fans .  If we''d been stuck down there for years, it wouldn''t stop me following City, but I''m sure it would dampen my enthusiasm a bit.  Just talk to Sheff U fans (I know quite a few).[/quote]

Football supporters are bonkers.  Man City supporters I know, who before the money arrived, followed MC with such an ingrained and downtrodden view of their club that it was almost funny (to me, anyway). Always in the shadow of that lot down the road at Old Trafford, barely raising a smile at victories and slightly depressing to be around, truth be known....   

But then they got some money and it all changed. Was it for the better?  Maybe to some - but to many, the act of buying the title didn''t change things that much. Even as they won the title, there were complaints about players not working for the team, a disjointed and inconsistent lot of individuals, not playing football that was attractive, but with individuals who could occasionally - if they felt like it or in the mood - bring out a bit of outstanding play to score goals. Pure football it was not - it was a title that was bought, as simple as that.  To some it was a bitter pill to swallow, on the one hand knowing they had at last got one over their ManUtd neighbours, but knowing they had only done it because of obscene amounts of money.

They wanted to be the big team - and they got their wish, but they lost their soul by selling Maine Road, losing their closeness to the club in the process with it''s multi-millionare players who, in favour of a quick fix and a title that was basically bought.  Quite of people lost interest - the change was too great and the obscenity of the amount of money that came in to the club just ruined it for them.  Their Man City had disappeared. 

You dont have to take my word for it, there are plenty of articles all over the internet about it.  My concern as always is with the well being of our own club - imo you mess with it''s history, it''s tradition, it''s place in the city and community, at your peril. Getting big money in by selling out to an outside investor will change the club forever.  I want us to win and succeed, but I don''t want to do it if it means destroying the club I know in the process.  Sure the club would still be there, but it would be a different club altogether - and for many, especially older fans (of which we have many!) it would be too big a change.   Ask a Man City fan - they are one of the very top clubs in the country now, but they have lost something quite important and fundamental in doing it.  They were the real Manchester club, the club for the community and for locals and MU were for outsiders - now they are the same or worse than MU ever were. They have sold out their soul.  So they won the title a couple of times...but for a good many fans it was a hollow victory.  The club tries to reinvent itself and tries to reach out to the community and are no doubt doing good work, but there is something more important lost.  Would they still like being in League 1, the championship on to the PL shouting "feed the Goat and he will score" - well I think some of them would. At least it was real.  Buying success is not all it''s cut out to be. 

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You''ve made a good point about Man City fans LDC. Their core support was magnificent as they went up and down the divisions a few seasons ago and many of them enjoyed the ride. I know quite a few who got huge satisfaction from fighting against the odds and being the relative pauper in Manchester.

I enjoyed City''s temporary visit to the lower League, visiting some proper old football grounds again, I think that was more novelty value than something I would want to do all the time though.

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[quote user="PurpleCanary"]

A tilted pitch?But Financial Fair Play is supposed, at least in the Championship, to level the playing-field. Some quick research suggests FFP has been (note the tense) working reasonably well in the Championship. The initial review of the 2015-16 season, the latest for which figures are available, showed all 24 clubs had complied (significantly, a first, as it happens). What tends to get the publicity are not the majority that comply but the few that do not, and particularly those that cheat their way to promotion, such as QPR and Bournemouth, in a cold-blooded calculation that either they won''t get relegated, and so avoid any penalty, or that the profit will outweigh the fine.Whether Championship clubs will carry on keeping to the rules is a question, given the trend outlined above to mega-rich owners, some of which are corporate. A Jack Walker-style fan would understand and accept that their money might not guarantee success. I am not sure some of the new mega-rich owners in our second tier, from a different business culture, will be equally phlegmatic. I am not suggesting Brighton cheated their way up last season (they have a history of complying with FFP) but there was a very pointed quote from their multi-millionaire owner Tony Bloom last autumn, in unveiling a  £25.9m loss for the season  before (clubs can only lose  £39m over three seasons but some bits of losses are allowable) when they got beaten in the play-offs:"Our ambition remains for the club''s teams to play at the highest level possible. As chairman (and lifelong supporter of the club), I will do everything I possibly can to achieve that and remain fully committed. Any Championship club without parachute payments wishing to compete for promotion will inevitably make significant losses. It remains a delicate balancing act for the board as we strive to achieve our ultimate aim."Brighton of course then got promoted, automatically. That may well - seriously - just be a coincidence, given how close they were before. The owner, having contemplated the dilemma he highlighted, may have decided to stay the right side of the law. And I cannot foresee Smith and Jones doing otherwise. But given some of the clubs and their new ownership that are straining to get promoted from the Championship I would not bank on that recent total-compliance record being replicated this season or in those to come.[/quote]

There has since been QPR losing their appeal against a fine rumoured to be at least £40m (which apparently would be a record amount levied on any sporting organisation in the world, ever. A place in history for the club at least).It does not take much to see the League''s determination to stick to its guns in what is in effect a test case as a warning to those newly-mega-rich clubs in the Championship to abide by the rules or face massive fines. Particularly since the numbers do not add up for this large batch of such clubs. In any season only three at most can get promoted, putting those that overspend in a vulnerable position.

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I believe the law changed so that the spending is now assessed over three seasons. It''s explained here : -
Brighton may well have fallen foul if they had missed out last year. Either that or really cut their cloth for the third season. Not sure where Wolves stand in this but I suspect clubs will gamble on getting promoted within two years. That''s all well and good until more clubs make that gamble.

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[quote user="nutty nigel"]I believe the law changed so that the spending is now assessed over three seasons. It''s explained here : -
Brighton may well have fallen foul if they had missed out last year. Either that or really cut their cloth for the third season. Not sure where Wolves stand in this but I suspect clubs will gamble on getting promoted within two years. That''s all well and good until more clubs make that gamble.
[/quote]Quite right, nutty. It is now over three seasons, but I am not sure a club could afford to gamble for two seasons. The point is that they would then be burdened with players on expensive wages they would have to offload in a Chase-style fire sale, assuming they could get rid of them anyway.

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[quote user="PurpleCanary"][quote user="nutty nigel"]I believe the law changed so that the spending is now assessed over three seasons. It''s explained here : -
Brighton may well have fallen foul if they had missed out last year. Either that or really cut their cloth for the third season. Not sure where Wolves stand in this but I suspect clubs will gamble on getting promoted within two years. That''s all well and good until more clubs make that gamble.
[/quote]Quite right, nutty. It is now over three seasons, but I am not sure a club could afford to gamble for two seasons. The point is that they would then be burdened with players on expensive wages they would have to offload in a Chase-style fire sale, assuming they could get rid of them anyway.[/quote]
Yes I think two seasons would land them in hot water. But I don''t think they care because if promoted the fine wouldn''t happen until they returned to the Championship.

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I''ve bumped this thread , because in my opinion it was one of the best we have seen. The first few pages showed sensible debate from various angles.

Now that we have seen nearly half a season of the "New Dawn" , I wonder if any views have changed? Personally mine haven''t - but interested in other views.

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@GPB
Mine neither. I''d say the sun has barely peeped over the horizon, still masked by a smattering of yesterday''s still lingering clouds!

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For the last 40 odds years we have flitted between the too two divisions with exception of that one year in league 1. At no stage have we had a big investor and for the most part have always been kept afloat by profits in the transfer market. Our ticket revenue for the most part puts us mid way in the championship. A move up or down from this is based upon good or bad managerial and transfer decisions. We may produce some of our own kids to develop and sell on but more important over this period is the ability to buy from lower league at modest prices and sell on whether that be a David cross in the 1970s or a maddison now. Part of this is not pretending to compete on high unsustainable salaries but giving young hungry players from unfashionable clubs a platform to show their wares and move on to better. This is not about spending money on facilities but investing in a good lower league and non league scouting network. Obviously in this set up if we make poor signings and managerial decisions then we will suffer get them right and we will prosper. This board has a track record of poor decision making and I don''t see that changing anytime quick. It is not so much the investment of owners that is important to me but the ability to make more good decisions than bad ones

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[quote user="Yorkshire Canary"]For the last 40 odds years we have flitted between the too two divisions with exception of that one year in league 1. At no stage have we had a big investor and for the most part have always been kept afloat by profits in the transfer market. Our ticket revenue for the most part puts us mid way in the championship. A move up or down from this is based upon good or bad managerial and transfer decisions. We may produce some of our own kids to develop and sell on but more important over this period is the ability to buy from lower league at modest prices and sell on whether that be a David cross in the 1970s or a maddison now. Part of this is not pretending to compete on high unsustainable salaries but giving young hungry players from unfashionable clubs a platform to show their wares and move on to better. This is not about spending money on facilities but investing in a good lower league and non league scouting network. Obviously in this set up if we make poor signings and managerial decisions then we will suffer get them right and we will prosper. This board has a track record of poor decision making and I don''t see that changing anytime quick. It is not so much the investment of owners that is important to me but the ability to make more good decisions than bad ones[/quote]That doesn''t add up. Despite having no big investment, unlike the vast majority of clubs in the top two divisions, we have flitted between the second tier and the first, and yet apparently the board has made many more bad decisions than good? A fair assessment, based on your post, would be that the board has had the club punching at least at its weight and often above because of a very decent track record of decison-making - certainly markedly bettter than many other clubs - but that any mistakes get more severely punished because of the lack of money. And that the way football finance is going even in the Championship any mistakes will get increasingly punished.

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My comments covered the period from the early 1970s through as well as the current owners. Between 1971 and 1994 we had well into double figures of years in the top flight indeed not many years out. The twenty odd years of the current board have seen 5. During the latter period we had two decent managers Worthington and lambert and lots of dross ie grant Hamilton Roeder Gunn Adams. By and large the first twenty odd years of the period we had competent managers most of the time and prospered accordingly. The first period saw far more good decisions than bad and the last 20 years the other way around but of course that has included some good decisions

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I would also go on to say that many clubs in the championship gave managed to get promoted over the last 20 years without big investors examples being Bradford Barnsley Blackpool the Sheffield clubs Burnley and Huddersfield. Good management and sound decisions at the time ensured their success not investment. Many clubs have punched above their weight for several years and going further back you cab add Oldham Wimbledon and Swindon. No when this board have got it right with managerial selections we have succeeded the majority of the time the managers have been flops

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[quote user="PurpleCanary"][quote user="Yorkshire Canary"]For the last 40 odds years we have flitted between the too two divisions with exception of that one year in league 1. At no stage have we had a big investor and for the most part have always been kept afloat by profits in the transfer market. Our ticket revenue for the most part puts us mid way in the championship. A move up or down from this is based upon good or bad managerial and transfer decisions. We may produce some of our own kids to develop and sell on but more important over this period is the ability to buy from lower league at modest prices and sell on whether that be a David cross in the 1970s or a maddison now. Part of this is not pretending to compete on high unsustainable salaries but giving young hungry players from unfashionable clubs a platform to show their wares and move on to better. This is not about spending money on facilities but investing in a good lower league and non league scouting network. Obviously in this set up if we make poor signings and managerial decisions then we will suffer get them right and we will prosper. This board has a track record of poor decision making and I don''t see that changing anytime quick. It is not so much the investment of owners that is important to me but the ability to make more good decisions than bad ones[/quote]That doesn''t add up. Despite having no big investment, unlike the vast majority of clubs in the top two divisions, we have flitted between the second tier and the first, and yet apparently the board has made many more bad decisions than good? A fair assessment, based on your post, would be that the board has had the club punching at least at its weight and often above because of a very decent track record of decison-making - certainly markedly bettter than many other clubs - but that any mistakes get more severely punished because of the lack of money. And that the way football finance is going even in the Championship any mistakes will get increasingly punished.[/quote]

Did it punch above it’s weight when they oversaw the year we dropped into League One? It’s amazing how many people seem to gloss over the fact when they bang on about this board being so bloody fantastic!

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I wold imagine that most regard the board as Delia and Michael.

And I have no doubt that they are sincere, enthusiastic "owners" who have no hidden agenda or asset stripping intentions.

I think that is countered by my thoughts that they don''t really have the nous to run the club from a "what matters is on the pitch" standard.

So their "homely" attitude to the club has probably clouded some decisions ie. Gunn and Adams becoming managers.

I think the change of direction is their acknowledgement that they need help running the club.

It just so happens that the revolution is not meeting with much success on the pitch. And that leads to unrest among supporters , especially as the football is not very entertaining.

I am going along with the changes and can see that they were necessary with the need to budget evenly as much as anything.

It may be that the system needs a bit of tinkering and that means the coaching staff. There seems to be a stubborness that we witnessed with Alex Neil. I hope that Webber can persuade DF that we have to adapt a bit more than present.

The change of ownership side is just peoples wishes or wants. As far as we know, no-one suitable (forget Cullum) has made a bid to takeover. I do think we ought to be ideal for a new owner willing to invest but we have heard of no-one.

But I do not believe that we cannot progress without major investment. The main thing is to get the right personnel playing the right kind of football. I don''t remember such a demand for wealthy owners in 2004 but it was obvious then that the big clubs were eyeing up massive investment.

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[quote user="Graham Paddons Beard"]I''ve bumped this thread , because in my opinion it was one of the best we have seen. The first few pages showed sensible debate from various angles.

Now that we have seen nearly half a season of the "New Dawn" , I wonder if any views have changed? Personally mine haven''t - but interested in other views.[/quote]
Certainly was a good thread Beardo. It was written in the week after Millwall. Had you have bumped it 7 weeks later after we won at ipswich I''d have been very interested if yours or other views had changed at that point. But you didn''t so we will never know. However now we are six weeks after ipswich I''m not surprised your view hasn''t changed. Where will we be six weeks from now is anyone''s guess as is where we will be at the end of the season. However I do think selectively bumping this thread devalues it.

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[quote user="Graham Paddons Beard"]I''ve bumped this thread , because in my opinion it was one of the best we have seen. The first few pages showed sensible debate from various angles.

Now that we have seen nearly half a season of the "New Dawn" , I wonder if any views have changed? Personally mine haven''t - but interested in other views.[/quote]

I think it would be surprising if anyone had changed their views recently, since the OP at least was looking at the long-term rather than than week-to-week developments. And the owners are unlikely to have dumped their sustainability strategy, or the sporting director/head coach model, just because we have lost a few games.However the AGM did throw up a couple of intriguing quotes. A great deal of store has been set by the directors on the latter, and there was a relevant comment from Balls in a post-AGM interview, talking about how they had stuck with the old-style system when McNally left, of a manager and a CEO (in the shape of Moxey):"In retrospect I wish we had bitten the bullet last summer. But we did in the spring of this year."

Despite Mick Dennis'' valiant efforts to convince his readers that the sporting director/head coach notion was sprung by Delia on an unknowing world, like Athena emerging fully-formed from the head of Zeus, my suspicion is that Balls was the initiator (he had certainly done plenty of research) and there is perhaps a hint of that in the comment about retrospectivity. This, of course, may play into parma''s forceful argument that the change of philosophy was correct, but made too late.The other quote, also from Balls, was on investment, the point being that the Smith and Jones interview in The Times seemed to set in stone the sustainability/community club/no investment model:"We aren''t in any way close-minded about investment. If anyone came along who believed in this club and its values and wanted to invest we would engage with them without any hesitation. But we would want to know if it was going to work for the long-term benefit of Norwich City."Now that can read as significant or just deflective soft soap (and it certainly raises questions - minority or majority investment or either or both?) and that may depend on one''s view of Balls. Some find it hard to look at him objectively. Myself, I see an active chairman who has already played a part (and possibly the lead part) in a groundbreaking change in how the club is run. The change may not work, but that is another matter.  And if I was to pick one bit from my OP it would be this:Within those [owners'' wealth] figures there are three trends that have developed in the last two and a half decades, from when the archetype was local boy Jack Walker pouring his home-grown fortune into the club he loved. Firstly, the money has not just gone into Premier League clubs and a few fallen giants slumming it below. Secondly the money is coming from overseas as much as from the UK. Thirdly some of it is corporate/state- or semi-state-based (fortunately there is not enough space to go into the intriguing Chinese takeover of Midlands football, which may already have reached a peak). In terms of money, leaving aside scruples about the suitablity of the new breed of owner, those trends, especially if continued, are bad news for Norwich City, potentially throwing into question the viablity of our self-sustaining model in the Championship, let alone the PL.(I should say that - possibly unlike parma but I may be misrepresenting him, I think the model is probably sustainable in terms of staying in the Championship. But no more than that. Parma may believe it is not even that).Anyway, if I can spot this dangerous trend then Balls is certainly smart enough to see it as well, and the other directors too. Of course he is only one director, and the community-club mantra is very powerful, but his proactivity (awful, awful word) shows he is no mere figurehead. And he knows some rich people, or at least his brother, the lesser-known Andrew, does.I said after the Times interview that I didn''t regard the community-club model as set in stone, with all investment being snubbed. I stick with that view, even if the Balls quotes may be at the moment deflective soft soap, because I don''t see that trend against such a utopian world slowing down yet.

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To quote from The Company, The Philosophy and The Future:

‘Premier money has allowed our model to succeed and operate without significant shareholder or owner financial input in recent years. Many, many others now have this additional funding and the priceless ability to take repeated calculated risks with a safety net of further wealth beyond Sky''s television income. This allows for the amortisation of mistakes that may lead to Premier relegation or non-promotion years within the Championship.

As we return to living within our limited means, the theoretical nominal value of shares likely returns to a far lower level and losses are unlikely to be able to be sustained for more than a very few years. The Championship is not as cheap a place to fail as it once was.

Thus within a fairly short timeframe further investment may become more than a desirable addition, it may well become a necessity, unless we are to very severely reduce our playing staff and their remuneration. Just as prices and fees stepchange far beyond anything seen before. ‘

Balls is deliberately raising the investment issue as a gentle, reawakened siren call. He is making a statement on behalf of himself and the board. He may now be pulling them with him.

Investment means others. Others means compromise. Compromise means change. Change means certain visions - heritary peerage and trust fund style club hand-downs - may not be possible or acceptable.

The sustainable model was only such without Premier League success in the first place (or hoarding the money the first (few) time(s), or with continued Murdoch-money. Community club principles were funded by capitalist coin.

Dealing with the readjustment from success to beige Championship survival is actually too much for the sustainable model with the huge sums of 2017 (comparing it to even 6 or 7 years ago is pointless, the disparity is now too great).

It’s not the failure, it’s the success that killed the model.

Parma

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Excellent post Parma.

I think this part is key though-

''Ability to take repeated calculated risks with a safety net of further wealth beyond Sky''s television income.''

The argument seems to swing between the extremes of keeping exactly how we are now and having an Abramovic type letting us spend £20-30m a year in the Championship. I don''t think we need that but I do think we need someone with the wealth to allow us to make calculated gambles in the market. The kind of wealth that could have allowed us to hold onto Jacob Murphy for another season or at least reinvest what we made from his sale, the type of wealth that means we don''t have to make a choice between a competitive transfer budget and upgrading the training facilities.

I''ve seen Webber get quite a bit of stick of late but I think people hugely underestimate the job he''s having to do.

We''ve made a £10m net profit on transfers with 12 players leaving.

We''ve had to bring in 10 new players for a total cost of £8m (which is crazy when you consider Hanley wasn''t budgeted for apparently, meaning without him our spending would be nearer £5/6m).

We''ve reduced the wage budget by about £180k a week.

All while implementing a new management system and a systematic culture change across the club.

I''d loved to have seen what Webber could have done with the budgets and funds available last season. As it is he is being asked to do the near impossible.

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Looking at the budgets and savings suggest you''re right Kingo. But is the reality the same as that?
Players sold  : -
Howson
Rudd
Dorrans
Jacob
Andreu
Players released : -
Ruddy
Bennett
Bassong
Mulumbu
Lafferty
Whittaker
Turner
Cost of players out : -
Transfer fees 17.4m
Total weekly salary 293k
Players purchased : -
Husband
Franke
Zimmerman
Vrancic
Watkins
Stiepermann
Trybull
Hanley
Players loaned : -
Gunn
Reed
Transfer fees 8.1m
Total weekly salary 120k
People will of course have differing views about these players. But it''s probably worth looking at the reality rather than the money figures.

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